Germany upgrades UK to virus variant area on COVID travel risk list
Germany has upgraded the United Kingdom to an area of variant of concern, its highest risk category, starting from midnight on Sunday, December 19. The move means that tourist travel from the UK to Germany is now suspended, and tighter quarantining and testing rules apply to arrivals.
Germany upgrades UK to highest travel risk category
Citing concern about the spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, the Robert Koch Institute announced on the weekend that the UK would be classified as an “area of a variant of concern” from midnight on Sunday, temporarily banning travel from the UK to Germany except for people with residency or German citizenship.
All arrivals in Germany will have to quarantine for two weeks, even if they are fully vaccinated or have previously recovered from coronavirus. They will also be required to show a negative PCR test taken within 48 hours of departure. An antigen test will not suffice.
The Robert Koch Institute wrote in its updated report, “Before departure, please be prepared for your carrier (e.g. airline) to require from you an up-to-date PCR test if you have spent time in an area of variants of concern at any time in the 10 days prior to entry.”
“After your arrival, further PCR testing may be ordered by the health authorities at the airport or at the place of isolation / quarantine. Please be aware of the 14-day quarantine requirement, which also applies to vaccinated and recovered individuals. The duration of the 14-day quarantine may not be shortened.”
Risk list to remain same until January 3
The RKI said the list would remain as it was until at least January 3, representing a major blow to people who planned to travel between the two countries over the Christmas holidays.
Other countries were re-classified as high-risk areas in the latest report, including Andorra, Denmark, France, Lebanon and Norway, meaning arrivals from these countries must register in an online portal, and quarantine until they can provide proof of vaccination, proof of recovery, or a negative test taken no earlier than five days after arriving.